Food, Clothing & Furniture Drive Wants Your Stuff!

Students and Abbot Matthew, O.S.B. carry couch

For the eleventh year, 41 Saint Anselm College students will spend the second half of final exams and a few days thereafter collecting, organizing, and distributing items to deserving families in the area. As of May 1, boxes were placed in Residential Life Halls to collect unwanted, gently-used items from students. Beginning on Wednesday, May 10, the drive will start collecting larger items – mainly couches and furniture – through the last day of final exams, Friday May 12th.

Students and Abbot Matthew, O.S.B. carry couch

Clothes, toys, furniture, books, household goods, and other gently-used items in good, clean condition are gratefully accepted for distribution to families in Manchester and surrounding communities. Last year, the Drive was able to offer 90 families assistance. This year, the goal of the drive is to service 100 families.

Amy Vachon '17, a member of the committee is ready to get started with this year’s work. “I am confident that this year we will reach our goal of serving even more families,” she says. “I cannot wait to lift some couches alongside some of the most amazing people I have met at this college.”

FCF is a student run program organized by a committee of six members, three seniors, Carroll BaileyCourtney Puccio, and Vachon, and three juniors, Georgie RooneyJoey Smith, and Madison Vigneault. Overseen by the Dean of Students Office, FCF also benefits from the support of the Alumni Office, Advancement Office, Student Government Association, Dining Services, Physical Plant, Saint Anselm alumni, and more.

Student-organizers have been intentional in their efforts to incorporate the Benedictine values of the college into the drive. “We are able to preserve the dignity of our fellow neighbors and create a better and stronger neighborhood,” says Bailey. “FCF brings awareness to the close proximity of large social issues happening right around us. By being able to engage with our neighbors in the Manchester area, we become aware of simple ways we can become more engaged in our community.”

To donate, smaller items can be placed in the boxes in residence halls and apartments around campus. Pick-up times should be scheduled with the FCF crew for donations of larger items such as couches and televisions. Pick-ups can be arranged by emailing

2016 in Review: Alumni Success Stories

Four Alumni Named Top “40 Under Forty”

2016 offered several memorable moments for Saint Anselm alumni as Anselmians around the country were recognized for their skills, talents and contributions to their respective fields. They’ve received awards and promotions, and were featured in the news for their success.

Alumni Association Recognizes Graduates, Friends of the College With Awards

Golden Anselmians and new graduates alike travelled from near and far back to the Hilltop September 30 – October 2 for Homecoming 2016.

The traditional fall weekend return to campus opened with the Alumni Awards Dinner at which graduates were honored for exceptional achievements.

2016 Alumni Award recipientsTricia Guanci Therrien '88 was awarded the Walter J. Gallo '58 Award for her long-time dedication to the College as the Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations. For more than 15 years, Therrien's love for Saint Anselm College inspired her work as she established the strong alumni network in place today. Her efforts helped create countless opportunities for alumni to give back and connect with each other through the Anselmian Volunteer Network, regional alumni programming from Boston to California and across the globe, and numerous events to bring Anselmians back home to the hilltop.

Tucker Mullin '13 received the Young Alumni Service Award. During his time as a student at Saint Anselm, Mullin was a Finance major, a two-time captain of the Men's Ice Hockey team, and co-founder of the Thomas E. Smith Foundation in 2010. In honor of a friend and teammate who suffered two paralyzing injuries that ended his hockey career, the foundation was created to help find a cure for paralysis and to provide support emotionally and financially to those affected by the condition in any way.

Bernadette R. Madara Ed.D. A.P.R.N. '70 was awarded this year's Academic Achievement Award. After graduating with a Nursing degree from Saint Anselm, Madara obtained her Master's in Nursing and in Education, then went on to on to earn her Doctorate in Education from Colombia University while working as a nurse and professor. She has published multiple scholarly articles, two books, and is currently working on a publication to help improve medical research techniques. Madera has also received the Nightingale Award, the highest honor in the nursing profession, for her many contributions to the healthcare field throughout her career.

Lucille Janatka '70 was presented with the Business Leadership Award for her excellence in business management, administration, and leadership in healthcare. Janatka graduated from Saint Anselm's Nursing Program and has gone on to great success in her field, serving as the Senior Vice President of Hartford Healthcare and President of the Central Region, where she is responsible for over 18,000 employees and oversees Connecticut's sole integrated healthcare system. She has received many accolades for her dedication to the healthcare field, including being recognized by the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame and named to the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

10 Under 10 Program Introduced

The Saint Anselm College Alumni Association is excited to announce a new recognition program for young alumni who are involved in impressive and meaningful work across a wide range of disciplines. The 10 Under 10 program proudly celebrates and showcases the successes of Saint Anselm's young alumni who are already shaping the future.

The inaugural honorees were recognized during the Alumni Association Awards Dinner. View a complete listing of this year's honorees »

Ken Merrifield '85 was granted the Humanitarian Award. When Merrifield graduated from Saint Anselm with a degree in English, he was presented with the John Julian Ryan Award by his professors. Now, in his 15th term as mayor of Franklin, New Hampshire, Merrifield is the longest-serving mayor in city history. Since his election to Franklin's School Board in 1992, he has dedicated many successful years to serving his community. Merrifield was appointed to the New Hampshire Workforce Opportunity Council by Governor John Lynch in 2011, selected as "Citizen of the Year" by the Franklin Lodge of Elks in 2013, and awarded the "Governor Meldrim Thomson Principle Above Politics Award" in 2015.

Katie Brandt '02 received this year's John F. Barry '40 Spirit of Saint Anselm College Award for her courage and strength through a journey of love and loss. Brandt's husband Michael was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD); she cared for him for three years until he passed away in 2012. Soon after, she created the Love is Out There Foundation to raise funds and awareness for FTD and to serve as a resource and spokesperson for those suffering from the disease and their families. Katie has been recognized by The Boston Globe and Mass General Hospital Magazine, amongst others, for her efforts.

William Martel '77 was awarded the Alumni Award of Merit. After graduating from Saint Anselm, he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts and became a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. In 2014, he was awarded the James Paddock Award for Excellence at their Commencement ceremony. Even while dealing with an aggressive form of leukemia, which eventually claimed his life in 2015, Martel was dedicated to his students as he continued to teach from his home via Skype. He was often interviewed on major television news stations to share his extensive state and national political knowledge. Martel also served as an advisor to numerous U.S. leaders and published many articles and books.

Michaela Scott Named New President of the Alumni Council

Michaela (Rocha) Scott ’09After almost four years of distinguished and devoted service to the Saint Anselm College alumni community, Kevin Fitzgerald '00 announced that he would step down as President of the Alumni Council.

Michaela (Rocha) Scott ’09 has been named the new President of the Alumni Council. She has served on the Council for several years and has been a leader for her classmates and fellow Anselmians since she arrived on campus more than 10 years ago. She brings a broad understanding of the important issues facing alumni and the college community, as well as a focus on working with current students. Michaela currently also serves on the Athletic Director’s Advisory Group, and has returned to the Hilltop to bring the benefit of her experience to students for events such as last spring’s “Soaring to New Heights: Women’s Success Stories” panel presented by the Multicultural Center and Career Services.

“I’m humbled and honored to serve as Kevin’s successor as President,” says Scott. “I’m incredibly proud of the Council’s devotion to our entire Anselmian community, and I’m so looking forward to working with the Council members in continuing to represent our alumni.”

Scott is a Vice President at Boston Partners Financial Group LLC in Boston, Mass., where she has won multiple awards for excellence in client services, including the Five Star Wealth Manager Award by Boston Magazine, an honor presented to less than three percent of the advisors in the Greater Boston area.

PORTRAITS: Read more alumni success stories by visiting the Portraits blog, the online home of Saint Anselm College's alumni magazine.

New Hampshire Union Leader Recognizes Four Anselmians In 2016 “40 Under 40” Class

Four Alumni Named Top “40 Under Forty”“Four Saint Anselm College alumni were named to The Union Leader’s “40 Under Forty” list in 2016, which recognizes local citizens for their service and talent to New Hampshire.

Allison Joseph ’07 was honored for her work supporting New Hampshire’s at-risk youth as executive director of MY TURN Inc. In her two years in the role, the former sociology major has opened a New Hampshire headquarters in Manchester and secured $1 million in federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Acts funds. Read the full story »

Brent Kiley, class of 1999, is managing director and private wealth advisor for Rise Private Wealth Management, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. At work, he helps clients to achieve financial life milestones, such as sending their children to college with confidence, and in his free time, volunteers at the New Hampshire Food Bank, Easter Seals Seniors Count Program, and Bedford Little League. Read the full story »

Gina (Rotondi) Powers ’06, a senior government advisor at Rath, Young and Pignatelli serves on the board of directors for Moore Center Services and the Mary Gale Foundation and volunteers at Merrimack Home Health and Hospice through their “Good Grief” youth program. Powers was nominated by her husband, E.J. Powers ’05, a “40 Under Forty” honoree in 2010. Read the full story »

David Tencza ’02, an assistant Hillsborough County attorney, is dedicated to improving the lives of the citizens of New Hampshire. In addition to his work on cyber-related investigations, Tencza was involved in the 2014 creation of the Hillsborough County Superior Court Adult Drug Court and continues to increase public safety through alternative sentencing programs.” Read the full story »

Anselmians Gather for "Friendsgiving"


On the final Thursday of every November, Americans gather around the table celebrating what they are thankful for with family and friends. In the final days before traveling home, Anselmians do the same with their college friends who have become family, hosting “Friendsgivings” all over campus.

The term “Friendsgiving” explains itself, a time spent with friends in reflection and fellowship over a meal. The event has become popular with college students and young professionals alike, spending intentional communal time with friends before heading home.

Here at Saint Anselm, the Benedictine value of community is fostered among students. This value has become an integral part of the pre-Thanksgiving meal, and has become an Anselmian tradition for many upperclassmen.

“My friends at Saint Anselm are like family to me, so it is only natural to have a Thanksgiving with them just as I do with my family at home,” says senior Jackie Parece.

This past week, groups of friends gathered around makeshift dining room tables, sharing a potluck style meal, some complete with a Snapchat geofilter. This tradition arose out of the desire for friends from different parts of the country to celebrate together before heading home to their families. Freshmen and sophomores may share a meal in Davison Hall commemorating the holiday, but juniors and seniors harness their cooking skills, as well as plenty of recipes off of the internet, to pull of a similar meal to that of the traditional one they will experience in a few short days. Cooking a turkey in a Father Bernard Court oven may not be the easiest task to accomplish, but with the help of Mom and Dad’s advice, some even tackled a twenty-pound bird.

ANSELMIAN GENEROSITY: In an annual tradition now in its 14th year, Saint Anselm College faculty, staff, students, the monastic community, administration, and entire departments collect and assemble the makings of complete Thanksgiving meals for families in need in the Merrimack Valley of New Hampshire. The baskets include whole uncooked turkeys, stuffing, potatoes, breads, vegetables, pies, beverages, decorations and more. Read more about the annual Thanksgiving basket blessing ceremony »

Ashling Stanek ’17 hosted a “Friendsgiving” celebration this past weekend; she comments: “The friends I have made at Saint Anselm are some of the most important people in my life. As we think about graduation and heading off to NY, Cali, Boston, Swaziland, and Russia, we think about the weddings, graduation and life events that will call us back together. So it was really important that we have one Thanksgiving all together because this might be the only time we are in the same place during this holiday.”

This tradition typically brings family back together again, but for seniors who will be graduating and moving on, the tradition has transitioned into a moment to reflect on their time in college and be thankful for the years spent together before graduation. Holidays are meant to be spent with loved ones, and this new holiday is no different.

Family Weekend Show 2016: "Seize The Day!"

Family Weekend Show 2016 cast

Now is the time to “Seize the Day!” calls the Anselmian Abbey Players as this year’s Family Weekend highlights a student-run show depicting the Saint Anselm College experience.The Abbey Players will present the show twice, with the first show at 8 p.m. on Friday evening to kick off the weekend, and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

Family Weekend Show 2016 castThe Family Weekend Show is an integral part of Family Weekend as it showcases the varied talents, and highlights numerous experiences of Saint Anselm College students. Landis Magnuson, Director of the Anselmian Abbey Players comments on the effect of the show, noting that it is “great for parents of new students to see the show to better understand the culture of the life of a student at Saint Anselm College.”

FAMILY WEEKEND: View this weekend's schedule of events online. We look forward to seeing you at Family Weekend 2016!

The performance, a series of lively vignettes about the lives of six students as they reflect on their journey at Saint A’s, was written, choreographed, and directed by five students. Jen Cardarelli ‘18 (Writer and Director), Cara Mackenzie ‘18 (Choreography), Elise Rivera ‘18 (Choreography and Musical Direction), Steph Conti ‘18 (Musical Direction), and Natasha Antkowiak ‘18 (Producer) say their creative direction has been inspired by previous years of the show.

Cardarelli explains their involvement and dedication; “The show is completely student run, meaning the five of us on the creative team plan and run every rehearsal. Four of us are roommates and the other is a good friend, and we came together to form a team because we all shared the goal of someday directing the annual family weekend show ourselves.”

Family Weekend 2016

Approximately 50 students are involved in the performance, whether performing in the cast, helping as a member of the crew, assisting in production assistance, or playing in the live band. Thirty-four students are in the cast alone, and about 18 are new and first year students. Magnuson explains the policy of casting the show: “As it is the beginning of the season, this show has a no-cut policy, anyone who chooses to audition gets to take the stage.” This policy leads to more participation, especially in first year students, encouraging them to take the next step to join the Abbey Players. This inclusion builds a foundation and a sense of stewardship in the program, which helps to foster continued support and participation from students.

The production brings to life the common realities of students at Saint A’s such as receiving their acceptance letter, participating in community service, experiencing unique dining traditions, and navigating the campus activities fair. The Benedictine values of hospitality, community, and service are expressed through the stories told, as the student-actors experience all that Saint Anselm has to offer. Musical interludes parodying well-known songs such as “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer, “Part of Your World” from the Little Mermaid, and “I’m a Believer” by Neil Diamond (also performed by The Monkees and Smash Mouth) are incorporated throughout the show. The hard work of the creative team results in a fun, expressive show demonstrating the life of an Anselmian.

The show will be performed Friday, October 21 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online until Thursday at 4:30 p.m., or at each show, availability pending.

Student Activities Settles Into New Home

52 Saint Anselm Drive

Looking for some “Anselmian Fun?” You can now find the Student Activities and Leadership Programs office in their new home (across Saint Anselm Drive from the lower campus entrance) as the Student Center complex renovation and expansion begins. We checked in with the staff to learn more about their fall programs, and for a preview of what’s to come in the weeks ahead.

52 Saint Anselm DriveStudent Activities began the fall with a sold-out trip to the New Hampshire FisherCats, and have already engaged hundreds of students in on and off-campus programming. “Outer Limits,” the college’s outdoor leadership program has already sponsored two trips for 75 students, with additional trips planned this fall.  On campus, the office has sponsored various weekend performers, including comedians and musicians.

“We are always looking for new and exciting programming to share with the student body,” says Jean Couture, Director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. “This fall, we have already had great turnout for many of our events, and I’m excited about the various programs lined up for our students in the weeks and months ahead.”

OPEN HOUSE: Student Activities and Leadership Programs will be hosting a house warming on Wednesday, October 12 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to greet students and encourage participation in their upcoming programs.

Couture credits her colleagues and the office’s student-staff for offering numerous programs on nights and weekends throughout the academic year. She commends the students who work in the office for their behind-the-scenes work, and assistance in getting the word out to the student body about upcoming events – a role with increased value during the temporary relocation.

Matthew Sargent ’18, has worked for Student Activities for two years and notes that this fall is off to a great start. “Numbers have been up for every event so far this year,” he says. “As a student who gets to lead and run some of our programs, I'm very happy to see interest in our events continues to grow. As the year goes on we look forward to getting even more people interested and participating in all that we have to offer.”

Up next for the Student Activities team is Family Weekend (October 21-23). The office advises and collaborates with the student led Family Weekend Committee to help students showcase all aspects of their Anselmian Life for parents, siblings, and friends. Many activities are planned including a Family Fun Run, two performances of the Abbey Player’s Family Weekend Show, Seize the Day, and the ever-popular Sunday Brunch in Davison Hall.

Although winter may still seem a distant thought for many, the office is already looking forward to one of their signature winter programs, “Out Cold,” a ski and board program that provides students the opportunity to visit area ski resorts at reduced costs.

The Student Activities team also collaborates closely with Campus Activities Board (CAB) to ensure there are programs offered almost every weekend.

“We work together when planning our events to make sure we can schedule events at different times and that, we feel, can reach the most students,” says CAB Director Cassy Mitchell ‘17. “We would not be able to properly function without the continued help and support from SALP. With the move, everyone is working harder than ever to make sure the student events on campus aren't affected in any way and that everyone is still accessible to the students.”

Follow the Student Activities and Leadership Programs office on social media for information about upcoming events throughout the year. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @AnselmianFun.


  • Saturday-Sunday, 10/15-16: Backpacking the Long Trail, VT
  • Saturday, 10/29: Halloween Event
  • Saturday, 11/12: Climbing at Pawtuckaway State Park
  • Friday, 11/18: Skate Night

Meelia Center on the Move: New Home Brings New Opportunities

Meelia Center temporary home

Along with other offices housed in the soon-to-be vacated Cushing Student Center, the Meelia Center For Community Engagement has packed up and relocated to make way for the pending renovation and expansion of the Student Center complex. Their new location, across the street from campus at 72 Saint Anselm Drive, brings a renewed perspective and presence for the staff and students of the Center.

Meelia Center temporary homeDirector Dan Forbes comments, “As sad as it was leaving our Cushing Center Meelia home after 27 years, we see the move to the little gray house across from the new College entrance as providing new opportunities for Meelia staff and engaged students. Our student staff is learning new outreach skills, and we envision inviting engaged students to our new house for reflection and celebration activities.”

OPEN HOUSE: The Meelia Center will be hosting a house warming on Wednesday, September 28 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. to greet current volunteers, and invite new volunteers to get involved at any of the 60 nonprofit agencies that the Center partners with.

There is no constant quite like change and the students and staff of Meelia are ready to meet the challenge of the new location, and make their outreach stronger and better. Katherine Carey ’18, a member of the student leadership team reflects on the fall semester by noting that “it’s been a pretty chaotic few weeks in the office, trying to get all of our service learners and volunteers set up while also coordinating the big move. However, Dan, (Assistant Director) Nickie, and (Administrative Assistant) Jen have done an amazing job in making sure that nothing got lost or looked over during the move. Physical Plant has also been a major help in making sure we are taken care of, and we are so appreciative of the work they have done, as it has made our lives and jobs at the Meelia Center a lot easier. Without their assistance, the move would have been far more overwhelming and difficult.”

Meelia Center temporary homeBesides the constant coordination of volunteers to the 60 sites the Center works with, there are a number of events that are planned for the Fall semester.

The first FAPNO (Foster and Adoptive Parents Night Out) of the year will be held Thursday, September 28th in the Carr Center. This event typically takes place on the last Thursday evening of every month; foster and adoptive parents are able to drop their children off. While the children are in a safe environment, parents have the time to go out and complete errands, or simply enjoy a little time to themselves.

Coordinated by Jenna Baker ’18, the event features dozens of student-volunteers from all over campus who take time to care for the children (infants to pre-teen), and entertain them while their parents are out. Volunteers play games with the kids, do crafts with them, talk to them and help them with dinner, keeping them busy so they are “nice and tired when their parents come to pick them up” says Baker. Every FAPNO night features a theme, from sports to movies, seasons to holidays, so that all the games, crafts, and movies are tied together and each month is a different and exciting experience for the kids.

Baker further comments; “What is truly amazing about this program is that it is almost completely run by volunteers. It warms my heart that college students are willing to take time out of their hectic schedules to come get to know kids that benefit so greatly from having positive role models in their lives. I wish I could express how thankful I am for all of the volunteers each month.”

The Meelia Center is hosting their annual Wiffleball Tournament on Sunday, October 16th, benefitting a local family. Every year, the tournament raises money for a local cause or a family in need. This year, the family that will be benefitting from the fundraising of the event lost their father in April, and now, as a family of ten, must provide for each other. Groups of students can register to play in the tournament online. There will be a competitive and noncompetitive bracket and food will be available!

Moving into November, the Meelia Center is also coordinating a myriad of events surrounding and supporting Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. This week is nationally recognized the week before Thanksgiving, this year falling on November 12-20. In an effort to increase awareness and call students to action, the Meelia Center will be hosting a Sleep-Out on the Quad, offering volunteer opportunities with Families in Transition, and offering numerous educational presentations. All events are designed to create a lasting impression for students of the realities for those who struggle as a result of hunger and homelessness.

All are encouraged to stop by the Meelia Center's new home at 72 Saint Anselm Drive to learn more about volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

"Out Cold" Ski and Board Trips Announced

On the slopes with "Out Cold"

The "Out Cold" ski and snowboard program has announced their slate of trips for 2016! "Out Cold," sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Programs provides students the opportunity to visit area resorts at reduced costs. Whether your skill level is advanced or beginner, this is a great chance to experience the wealth of skiing and snowboarding that New Hampshire has to offer. Liam Anderson, a junior says, “the most convenient part for me and many others is the pricing; through the school we can get all-day lift tickets for unheard of prices.”

The scheduled trips are:

  • Saturday, January 23 to Loon Mountain (bus departs at 6:30 a.m.)
    • Payment due before leaving campus for Christmas Break
  • Saturday, February 6 to Waterville Valley (bus also leaving at 6:30 a.m.)
    • Payment due Wednesday, January 27
  • Saturday, February 20 to Gunstock Mountain for afternoon/night skiing (bus leaving at 2:30 p.m.)
    • Payment due Wednesday, February 10

Each trip costs $45. This fee includes lift tickets, round-trip transportation, and for Loon and Waterville, a food voucher. Registration can be completed in the Student Activities and Leadership Programs office.

The Gunstock trip includes free rentals, but there is an additional charge for rentals on the other two trips. Helmet rentals, which are recommended, is an additional charge at each mountain.

“Out Cold is a great experience, the variety and quality of the resorts makes it a great time for beginning, intermediate, and advanced skiers,” says Anderson. Christine Balquist ’17 added, “Out Cold trips are a great opportunity for Saint Anselm students; I look forward to going on them every year! Student activities does a great job running the program.”

If you have and questions, do not hesitate to stop by the Student Activities and Leadership Programs office in lower Cushing.

Saint Anselm Community Travels to Philadelphia to See Pope Francis

Saint Anselm students at Papal Mass

At three-thirty on the dot on the morning of September 27, 2015, 54 students, faculty, and staff boarded a double decker bus in pursuit of the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. The short trip, spanning only 24 hours, resembled a modern day pilgrimage: the participants sacrificed sleep, routine, and a normal weekend for a chance to gain a glimpse of the Pope.

Last week, Sept. 21-25, the Saint Anselm College community watched as Pope Francis traveled from Washington D.C., to New York City, N.Y., to Philadelphia, Penn. The main event on Sunday, Sept. 27, on the last leg of the visit, was a Mass for the Family, focused on the aspect of the modern, varied family, celebrated by the Holy Father himself.

Saint Anselm students at Papal MassThe 4 p.m. Mass was scheduled a mere 12 hours after the participants left Saint Anselm College. The group arrived in Philadelphia, Penn. at noon, parked, and made their way into the center of the city. When they finally reached The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where they hoped to be able to enter the inner crowd closest to the Pope, they found the area unfortunately already full.

However, even from far away, the group was able to celebrate the beauty of the Mass. A few blocks away, they were still within earshot of the echo of the speakers and the incredible choir.

Director of Campus Ministry, Susan Gabert described the experience of Mass saying, “Just being at a Mass led by our shepherd the Holy Father, with 1.5 million others – singing hymns, praying the our father, exchanging the sign of peace. It was so moving. Such a tangible example of the universality of our Catholic Church.”

Participant Kayla Patten ’17 said, “Holding hands while singing the “Our Father’ was one of the most moving experiences of the entire trip.”

The Pope’s homily proclaimed by the modern day Prophet, focused on themes of community and love. As Gabert explained, “He said ‘Holiness is always tied to small gestures…love shown by little things.’” She continued, “He called us to action of love in our homes, in our society, asking ‘what kind of world do we want to leave for our children?’”

While many predicted that the Holy Father would focus on heated issues, he chose to expound on the message of the coming Year of Mercy, which will focus on the idea that "No one can be excluded from God's mercy."

Participants connected their experience to the Pope’s message. “We were able to take this opportunity to recognize ourselves and others together as part of God's family, seeing one another not as strangers, but as sons and daughters of Christ, made in His image,” said Jenny Richard ’17.

Many, including Campus Minister Andrew Fellows commented that this Pope makes him very proud to be a Catholic.

“If you ask me, going to see the Pope is definitely a once in a lifetime experience,” said freshman Braelyn Croteau, who hoped this opportunity would help her connect with God another way.

“He is the closest path to God, and praying with him will only strengthen my prayer. I am humbled that I was in his presence.”

The trip was sponsored by the generosity of the college chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

This amazing opportunity is truly an example of our Patron, Saint Anselm’s eternal message of “faith seeking understanding.” This opportunity to live out the Benedictine tradition of the Catholic Faith is priceless to our own Anselmians but to all who were able to attend.